Citizensdanceashardastheycan

What do Plate (formerly M.C. Plate) and a group of McKinney residents have in common? Hip-hop. No, it’s not a variation of bebop or do-wop, just a style of dance that has evolved to go along with rap music — and it’s hot!

Hip-hop is happening every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the basement of the St. Joseph Church on Main Street. Dance teacher Patricia Mosley, 25, started the classes a year and a half ago, and now has a steady following from five to 20 people per class.

On a recent Tuesday, 15 enthusiastic participants, ranging in age from their 20s to mid-50s, were groovin’ to the likes of Plate, DJRon, and Lunar Guy.

Although all but one of the dancers were women, Mosley’s 26-year-old brother John, appeared to be in his element, struttin’ and jivin’ with the best of ’em.

After a brief warm-up, the students tackled the “electric slide” a move entailing three steps to the right, three steps back, and a turn. The slide is almost a reincarnation of the hustle, a 1980s’ line dance, but a rap dancer’s sharp flip of the hand and quick strut of the hips turns it into hip-hop.

Wannabe hip-hoppers basically fall into two categories. Younger dancers are intent on learning the steps so they can use them at dance clubs.

Phoebe Bradley, 23, a job-hunting actress who has been lo the class at least seven times, says. “I really like knowing the latest steps and latest moves, so I feel good about myself when I go out dancing. I feel weird doing the white people’s dance, so this lets me learn new routines and then mix them up when I go out.”

Mike Walters, another aspiring actor, also wants to spice up his dance routines when he’s out on the town. In addition, knowing hip-hop has helped him with his acting career: his rap dance savvy recently won him a call-back for a beer commercial.